Why you waste your time on article marketing?

by enderZ
45 replies
I think that one of the biggest mistakes many are doing is creating articles for backlinks:

1. It reminds me The fisherman story:

I guess most of you know this story, so I'll make it really short: a rich guy approaches a fisherman and tries to convince him to leverage his business (e.g., take some VAs to fish for you and in that time open "the grand fisherman mall").
The fisherman asks why should he do that and the rich man answers that he will become as rich as he and when he'll get rich he'll have the time to do all the things he likes, like fishing...

Why people write articles and syndicate them?
Cause they want more link juice.
Why do they need link juice?
Cause they want to rank high their site.
Why do they want to rank high their site?
Cause they want more traffic to their site.
Why more traffic?
Cause they want to sell more.
(lets stop here ).

So, wouldn't it be better to drive the traffic directly from the syndicated articles? And even better, make the traffic that comes from the articles more "purchase ready"?

I can tell you as the owner of a UGC site, that the difference in effort between an article written to bring traffic/sell in many cases is very similar to the effort that is put into a "MFB" (made for backlinks) article.

Even when we exclude the spam-spun-non-readable articles we'll see that the most of the other 95% articles are still MFB.

WHY?

Here are some answers and my thoughts about them
1. It will take much more time (or money) to create an article that people will actually read and eventually click the link to my site to buy my product.

That's not true if you know your niche and your market. You don't need to write a master piece, all you need to do is make the reader think "wow, this guy knows what he is talking about". To accomplish that you don't need to do much, you only need to:
Give some new piece of information about the subject that is not a common knowledge

Lets say it takes you 20min to produce a MFB article and 2 hours to create a real one. I believe that if you made a real, good quality, original article, in its life time it will make you the money/time you spent writing it (if the basic are done like a decent call to action, some basic SEO work etc.).

The beauty of it is that you don't "lose" the backlinks, you do both. So, in "one strike" you got yourself a traffic generator and effective backlinks (I'll discuss it below).

But, one can write a lot of MFB articles and build lots of backlinks while with this "traffic generator articles" you build so few backlinks.
The answer to this is:

2. In most cases these backlinks worth almost nothing.

When Google created their algorithm they did something brilliant, they took the basic aspects of academic article ranking mechanism and transformed it into Internet pages ranking algorithm.

The basic is very simple: if a very respected academic journal quotes a researcher, it gives the researcher points (depends on the university, but each researcher needs to achieve certain amount of these points every year - don't know the exact details but in general thats how it works).

So, all Google needed to do, is to create a mechanism that gives points to pages that get links from other respected pages. Of course it is a bit more complicated than that, so lots of "not so respected pages" can give you the same amount of points like a link from one very respected page.

And that is where spam and SEO "tricks" started to make Google algorithm become less effective.

In real life there are few low-quality academic journals and they are considered low-quality only by comparison to the other journals (if you'd read them you'll think they are quite good).

In the Internet there are endless sites, and low quality rules

So, how can Google know if a recommendation is good or bad?

Imagine walking in a mall and you see there a very charismatic good looking ~45 years old man, telling people to go into a specific shop. When you approach and asks him why he recommends that shop he tells you that he has a PHd in economics and according to several surveys he conducted this shop is the cheapest with the best products.

Up to this point, if you were Google, until recently you would rank highly that shop, wouldn't you?

But, then you notice that almost no one from the people that man talked to is actually entering the shop and the few that do enter, getting out in few seconds.

This will tell you two things:
1. The shop is lousy.
2. The recommender sucks.

This is where Google is going now, and actually already implemented some (don't ask me for proofs, I see it happen, its logical, but no proofs yet).

Google is/will rank a backlink according to the combination of the percentage of clicks it gets and the time spent on referred site.

When you think of it, its perfectly logical, how else can you test the effectiveness of a recommendation?

So, those MFB articles that their backlinks get very low CTR and then the visitors running away from the referred sites have a very low "link juice power".

I think that with time it will get even more drastic and backlinks that are not clicked and the user behavior after the click will not imply to be positive will have no power at all.

Bottom line:
Kill two birds in one strike, create content that will bring you traffic that will eventually convert and the backlinks will be also very powerful!
#article #marketing #time #waste
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by enderZ View Post

    I think that one of the biggest mistakes many are doing is creating articles for backlinks
    I agree with you. Very good post.

    Creating articles for backlinks is, for most people, most of the time, a dreadful business model and a recipe for failure, for the reasons mentioned here.

    But "creating articles for backlinks" doesn't quite relate to your title. That isn't really article marketing at all: typically, it's only "article directory marketing".

    Article marketing itself can be a hugely profitable and viable business-building model, leading to increasing residual income and a true asset-based business.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      I agree with you. Very good post.

      Creating articles for backlinks is, for most people, most of the time, a dreadful business model and a recipe for failure, for the reasons mentioned here.

      But "creating articles for backlinks" doesn't quite relate to your title. That isn't really article marketing at all: typically, it's only "article directory marketing".

      Article marketing itself can be a hugely profitable and viable business-building model, leading to increasing residual income and a true asset-based business.
      Let's spin this post to make it more accurate:

      -------------------------------------

      Creating articles for syndication is, for most people, most of the time, a dreadful business model and a recipe for failure, for the reasons mentioned here.

      But "creating articles for syndication" doesn't quite relate to your title. That isn't really SEO at all: typically, it's only "article syndication marketing".

      SEO itself can be a hugely profitable and viable business-building model, leading to increasing residual income and a true asset-based business.

      -------------------------------------

      Much better if I do say so myself. Looks like spnning acutally improved the post.
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      • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
        Kurt - Much better if I do say so myself. Looks like spnning acutally improved the post.
        Not entirely Kurt.

        Spnning Acutally is spelt "spinning actually". Oh and Dissater in your signature, is I believe, spelt "disaster". Snipet has two "p"s as well.

        You spin the sentences and paragraphs, not the actual word itself Kurt.

        I thought being the master of spin, you'd have known that.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kurt
          Originally Posted by Richard Van View Post

          Not entirely Kurt.

          Spnning Acutally is spelt "spinning actually". Oh and Dissater in your signature, is I believe, spelt "disaster". Snipet has two "p"s as well.

          You spin the sentences and paragraphs, not the actual word itself Kurt.

          I thought being the master of spin, you'd have known that.
          Perfect example of a logical fallacy known as a red herring...My spelling, or lack of it, has nothing to do with my point, but nice try. I'm more of a logical, results oriented person. So try to stay on topic, at least you freelance writers are good for spell checking.

          But as the master of spinning, I suggest you pay attention to my point: It's much easier to spin content when no facts are presented and just make stuff up.

          For example, I couldn't as easily spin a sentence such as:
          Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492.

          into:
          Napeleon sailed the ocean blue in 1492.

          See, that doesn't work. So since Alexa's post contained no facts, it was very easy to spin it into something else that makes (more) sense.

          But obvioiusly you would prefer BS spelled correctly more that facts. To each his own...I prefer facts.
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          • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
            Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

            Perfect example of a logical fallacy known as a red herring...My spelling, or lack of it, has nothing to do with my point, but nice try. I'm more of a logical, results oriented person. So try to stay on topic, at least you freelance writers are good for spell checking.

            But as the master of spinning, I suggest you pay attention to my point: It's much easier to spin content when no facts are presented and just make stuff up.

            For example, I couldn't as easily spin a sentence such as:
            Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492.

            into:
            Napeleon sailed the ocean blue in 1492.

            See, that doesn't work. So since Alexa's post contained no facts, it was very easy to spin it into something else that makes (more) sense.

            But obvioiusly you would prefer BS spelled correctly more that facts. To each his own...I prefer facts.
            (1) What are you talking about, Kurt? You can easily spin/rewrite/reword anything. Fact or fiction, real substance or lack thereof - it doesn't make a blind bit of difference.

            (2) Does disagreeing with someone's point automatically make it bull****?

            (3) *sniffs Kurt's post* Smell that bull****, isn't it wonderful.
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            • Profile picture of the author Kurt
              Originally Posted by DireStraits View Post

              (1) What are you talking about, Kurt? You can easily spin/rewrite/reword anything. Fact or fiction, real substance or lack thereof - it doesn't make a blind bit of difference.
              Of course you can. However, my point is to make it make sense. Sorry you missed that point. History obviously isn't your strong point.


              (2) Does disagreeing with someone's point automatically make it bull****?
              No...But stating opinions as facts and giving bad SEO advice when someone has admitted they aren't an SEO expert is BS.

              (3) *sniffs Kurt's post* Smell that bull****, isn't it wonderful.
              Well thought out and very helpful post...Yet another example of "high quality content" from a freelance writer. How come you post good stuff everywhere else but here?

              And to use your own question:
              Does disagreeing with someone's point automatically make it bull****?

              You're too funny...
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          • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
            Kurt - Perfect example of a logical fallacy known as a red herring...My spelling, or lack of it, has nothing to do with my point, but nice try.
            I simply couldn't resist, it rather tickled me. Thank you.

            Kurt - I'm more of a logical, results oriented person. So try to stay on topic, at least you freelance writers are good for spell checking.
            Irony at it's finest. You like to stay on topic and you like facts, then you incorrectly went off topic by very incorrectly labeling me as a "freelance writer". I've never written an article for anyone and almost every one of my articles has been outsourced, it's also just a small part of my online business. If I'm a freelance writer, you must be a freelance writer too. Anyhow, at least you spinners are good for a laugh .

            Kurt - But obvioiusly you would prefer BS spelled correctly more that facts. To each his own...I prefer facts.
            Indeed. But obviously you've no idea about me, so all your facts about me are based on nothing more than your assumptions, which I assure you, are not facts.

            But you're very right here..."Each to their own".
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            • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
              Has anyone else noticed that there's an argument going on when the two sides are actually not even talking about the same issue(s)?

              With the amount of brainpower represented in this thread, it's a shame that all we've really gotten out of it is wombatting and nyah-nyahs.


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              • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
                Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                With the amount of brainpower represented in this thread, it's a shame that all we've really gotten out of it is wombatting and nyah-nyahs.


                Paul
                Very true Paul.

                Having said that it's not the first time an article marketing thread has got a bit off topic, heated and nyah nyahy.

                I shouldn't have pointed out Kurts spelling errors though, that was silly and off topic.

                What's "Wombatting"?
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                • Profile picture of the author myob
                  Originally Posted by Richard Van View Post

                  ..I shouldn't have pointed out Kurts spelling errors though, that was silly and off topic...
                  Spelling is such a petty thing. A little more spinning would have accurately corrected all those spelling errors.
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      • Profile picture of the author myob
        Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

        Let's spin this post to make it more accurate
        Now that's another good reason to spin, for more accuracy. LOL!
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        • Profile picture of the author mraffiliate
          I have to disagree with the OP post because a well known full time IM'er took a new domain and site, did the on page SEO and used MFB articles and within 2 months had a competitive keyword ranked #1 spot on Google and it is still there months later.
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          • Profile picture of the author enderZ
            Originally Posted by mraffiliate View Post

            I have to disagree with the OP post because a well known full time IM'er took a new domain and site, did the on page SEO and used MFB articles and within 2 months had a competitive keyword ranked #1 spot on Google and it is still there months later.
            I have dozens examples that this method is dead or nearly dead, so there could be several explanations:
            1. The keyword is not that competetive
            2. He did something else

            If you could give me the kwd and url I'd be happy to check it out.
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            • Profile picture of the author mraffiliate
              Originally Posted by enderZ View Post

              I have dozens examples that this method is dead or nearly dead, so there could be several explanations:
              1. The keyword is not that competetive
              2. He did something else

              If you could give me the kwd and url I'd be happy to check it out.

              The exact match is 8,100. I do like your post by the way. If you have a way to rank sites well I'm all ears. I'm in the process of ranking two local businesses and their main keyword is stuck on page 4 of Google. Yahoo/Bing they are ranking better.
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              • Profile picture of the author enderZ
                Originally Posted by mraffiliate View Post

                The exact match is 8,100
                Thats a very vague piece of information. Why would I care how many exact match are there? I compete with only 10 sites, the 10 sites that are on page 1 for that term.

                That is why I need the phrase, only after I'll see the top 10 I can tell how competitive is the keyword.
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                • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
                  Banned
                  Originally Posted by enderZ View Post

                  Thats a very vague piece of information. Why would I care how many exact match are there? I compete with only 10 sites, the 10 sites that are on page 1 for that term.
                  Absolutely right.

                  I always look at it in terms of competing with 5 sites, for myself, to be honest (because I wouldn't expect any meaningful traffic, for many of my keywords, from being ranked 6th or lower).

                  The "number of competing sites" is completely irrelevant. That's a quantitative approach. What do I care whether my 5 real competitors are followed by 995 others or 9,999,995 others? It's not relevant to me. All that matters is the SEO-quality of those top 5 sites, and my assessment of whether I can probably displace one or more of them.

                  As in so many other aspects of internet marketing, qualitative approaches are more worthwhile and reliable to me than quantitative ones.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kurt
          Originally Posted by myob View Post

          Now that's another good reason to spin, for more accuracy. LOL!
          Another awesome example of your "high quality" content? MUHAHAHAHAHA! Everybody funny. Now you funny too.

          But yes in this SPECIFIC EXAMPLE spinning Alexa's post did produce more accuracy.
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          • Profile picture of the author myob
            Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

            ....in this SPECIFIC EXAMPLE spinning Alexa's post did produce more accuracy.
            So from this specific example, can we conclude that spinning articles from original content produces greater accuracy? Or was this "example" some kind of fortuitous fluke? Looks to me like it was edited, not spun.
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            • Profile picture of the author Kurt
              Originally Posted by myob View Post

              So from this specific example, can we conclude that spinning articles from original content produces greater accuracy? Or was this some kind of fluke?

              Again, YES the post I spun above is more accurate after being spun. Other than that, you can make any illogical assumptions from that bit of info that you please.

              And from all your posts we can assume you actually write something useful and informative, instead of small, one-line smartass posts? Let's apply your "logic" to your own posts...

              Instead of pretending to be witty, why not actually make a post helping people by showing them how you go about getting published in trade magazines?

              Plus, it's kind of funny how the freelance writers preach about EZA, when EZA depends on SEO and Google themselves and seem to be very concerned over their Google rankings. That's what we call "irony"...
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              • Profile picture of the author myob
                Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

                ....Again, YES the post I spun above is more accurate after being spun. ...

                Spin it again, a few hundred times Kurt, and let's see how much more accurate it gets.

                Michael, can you pass me the popcorn?
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                • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
                  Originally Posted by myob View Post

                  Spin it again, a few hundred times Kurt, and let's see how much more accurate it gets.

                  Michael, can you pass me the popcorn?


                  "Eee-ahh", as we say in Yorkshire. Drink plenty of coke to wash it down - you wouldn't want to be coughing bits up all over anyone in a fit of laughter ... :p
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              • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
                Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

                Plus, it's kind of funny how the freelance writers preach about EZA, when EZA depends on SEO and Google themselves and seem to be very concerned over their Google rankings. That's what we call "irony"...
                Who's preaching about EZA?

                I think the point most frequently stressed by these "freelance writers" (i.e. article marketers) is that you shouldn't be reliant/dependent on small numbers of sites (i.e. article directories that actually have some authority) that you cannot control. The only time I ever see EZA referred to by "freelance writers" is when they're telling people NOT to be reliant on them and to use them only for their traditionally intended purpose.

                Secondly, the fact Google took a giant steaming turd on EZA has nothing to do with thier SEO strategies (in the sense of placement of keywords in article titles or anything else), and everything to do with the fact that ~95% of their content was totally and utterly useless.

                Thirdly, I'm not strictly a "freelance writer". Believe it or not, I still make a good portion of my income from sites whose traffic comes mostly from search-engines. So before you accuse me of being a total SEO n00b ...
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  • Profile picture of the author tobyR
    some really good points in the post and replies. I think doing it just for backlinks is a waste but article marketing is a lot more than that - its exposure, brand awareness and increasing traffic as well.
    Its a useful and necessary part of the internet marketing arsenal of tools
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  • Profile picture of the author AnniePot
    I agree completely with everything said so far - unless something else slips in while I write.

    So many so called "article marketers" are bemoaning daily the catastrophic effects they are suffering following Google's February algorithm updates, yet the sector of true "article marketers" are experiencing better than ever returns on their writing efforts.

    Surely this alone says everything...
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  • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
    Uh oh, another "article marketing" discussion; another potential trainwreck.



    Good thing my mother taught me never to post with my mouth full.
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Originally Posted by DireStraits View Post

      Thanks, I'm just gonna kick back for awhile and enjoy the show.
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  • Profile picture of the author desertman909
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    • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
      Originally Posted by desertman909 View Post

      Respected SEO, so what we do as a new SEO, some said signutre is not worth for google some said article and some said backlink wht we do sir plz explain us
      Well, you're testing the signature theory out - What do you think? Hows it been working out for you?
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  • Profile picture of the author bacmaryp
    In this context, what would you say about forum link building, this kind of links also get clicks but it is not sure that the site we are promoting on that site visitors would spend some time or not.
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    • Profile picture of the author enderZ
      Originally Posted by Chris Kent View Post

      I think you're wrong and here's why.

      Many people create articles for backlinks. They don't typically send them to the biggest article directories but do a mass effort (using tools and/or spinning) in order to rank a site.

      If you look at the ratio of traffic compared to effort, it can be extremely high. Case in point are people who steal my articles from the directories and even from my sites. They do very little but they get a lot of keyword traffic. Not directly from the articles but due to SEO. Their SEO is working for minimal time investment.
      From what I see these methods are much much less effective if you test them by the resulting SERPS, they are also quite bad traffic wise since most of these directories don't have enough traffic in the first place.

      Originally Posted by AnniePot View Post

      ... yet the sector of true "article marketers" are experiencing better than ever returns on their writing efforts.

      Surely this alone says everything...
      I think its confirming my observation that backlink clicks do count in Googles eyes. The "true article marketers" articles sending traffic and ranked high cause their user engagement is good.



      Originally Posted by Kurt View Post


      SEO itself can be a hugely profitable and viable business-building model, leading to increasing residual income and a true asset-based business.
      Why, sure that SEO is a great way to get traffic. But, I think that the way we built backlinks until now has to change and article marketing (or articles SEOing) is a good example - 2 backlinks at the bottom of an article no one read are useless nowadays and thats a big change from the near past...



      Originally Posted by bacmaryp View Post

      In this context, what would you say about forum link building, this kind of links also get clicks but it is not sure that the site we are promoting on that site visitors would spend some time or not.
      I think that forum link building is dying or dead, its the logical consequence of what I wrote AND I see it for a fact for several of my sites that were SEOed mainly in that method.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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        Originally Posted by enderZ View Post

        From what I see these methods are much much less effective if you test them by the resulting SERPS, they are also quite bad traffic wise since most of these directories don't have enough traffic in the first place.
        This is clearly right.

        What you have to ask yourself is: when a potential customer finds one of your articles by putting one of its keywords into a search engine as his search-terms, what do you want him to find - an article directory copy (I don't know about you but I lose most of that traffic; I think we all do?) or the copy on your own site ("job done")?

        Originally Posted by enderZ View Post

        The "true article marketers" articles sending traffic and ranked high cause their user engagement is good.
        Exactly so.

        I strongly suspect that what you're referring to as "true article marketers", here, are not people depending on article directories for backlinks or traffic?

        That would be my understanding, too.

        Originally Posted by enderZ View Post

        2 backlinks at the bottom of an article no one read are useless nowadays and thats a big change from the near past...
        I suspect not necessarily quite so "near", really? I know people like to blame this on Google's recent Panda update, but the reality is that even before that (and certainly since I've been online, about three years now), depending on article directories for backlinks and traffic has been, comparatively speaking, rather a forlorn business model with a high failure-rate. One has only to see all the recent-historical posts here announcing "article marketing doesn't work" to see that, I think? They all actually refer to article directory marketing.

        What one has to bear in mind is that article directory backlinks are non-context-relevant ones which all start out as PR-0 - regardless of the PR of the directory's home page, which isn't where your articles are published. Respected and hugely best-selling authors like this one (highly recommended)this one (highly recommended) explain in detail why one would typically need something between 50,000 and 100,000 of these backlinks to confer the equivalent link-juice to one backlink from a relevant authority site. And they're not exaggerating.

        Fortunately, it remains the case, though, that for what you're calling here "true article marketers", as so many of us here have repeatedly shown and discussed, you don't need many articles - nor any low quality backlinks - to make a very good living through article marketing. What you need to do is to forget using article directories for backlinks, and to concentrate on getting well-written articles in front of well-targeted traffic. With this in mind, it's certainly far easier to make a very good living from "true article marketing", as you've put it. And as so many of us have been saying for 3 months now, the Panda update has actually helped us to do that, if anything, by devaluing still further the already tiny SEO potential of the article directories (i.e. making it easier for us to rank our own sites in some of the resultant "SERP's vacancies").
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      • Profile picture of the author enderZ
        Originally Posted by Chris Kent View Post

        In your experience, perhaps. But there are many who are still using article directories successfully for good rankings.
        I'm sure many are "Using" , I'm not so sure its "for good rankings". Many are using several methods at the same time and can't split-test in a way that they'll know what worked and what didn't.

        PLUS, the power of inertia, people are so used to do some stuff they'll keep on doing it long after it is not effective.

        Now, it sounds like I think article posting is ineffective for SERP, thats not what I saying, it can be very effective if done correctly (articles that people actually engage with)/
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Barboza
    This discussion again? Create articles for backlinks and syndication.They are not mutually exclusive
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  • Profile picture of the author samphillips
    I am glad to be able to state that for me "article marketing" has huge benefits "if" you write totally - unique - high quality articles that others want.

    The spin stuff will spin you out of business in certain categories and people who only write articles to please S.E. will not last long among populated directories.

    But if you write from the heart to please people and se - then yes high quality certainly does and will continue to pay big.
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  • Profile picture of the author JWatson
    My my.

    It is an old joke. One of my favorites.

    This thread entitled "Why you waste your time on article marketing" makes me wonder why I waste my time in other ways.

    Originally Posted by DireStraits

    (2) Does disagreeing with someone's point automatically make it bull****?

    Originally Posted by Kurt

    No...But stating opinions as facts is BS.
    Possibly. In that case might I suggest you study the difference between "data" and "facts" when you rush to lambast an accurate post that does not contain numbers.

    Originally Posted by Richard Van

    Irony at it's finest. You like to stay on topic and you like facts, then you incorrectly went off topic by very incorrectly labeling me as a "freelance writer". I've never written an article for anyone and almost every one of my articles has been outsourced, it's also just a small part of my online business. If I'm a freelance writer, you must be a freelance writer too. Anyhow, at least you spinners are good for a laugh .
    Indeed.

    The "spinners" do make me dizzy.

    But I'm always fascinated to see that no matter how one presents themselves there always seems to be someone willing to "believe."
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    • Profile picture of the author Niky Ray
      Thanks for sharing your insights with us!
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  • Profile picture of the author DireStraits

    ... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO0000000!!!1111!1
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez


    Here's some more popcorn Michael....

    RoD
    Signature
    "Your personal philosophy is the greatest determining factor in how your life works out."
    - Jim Rohn
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    • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
      Originally Posted by Rod Cortez View Post



      Here's some more popcorn Michael....

      RoD
      Ooohh, and a sexy inflatable doll to share it with. What more can a guy ask for? :p
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      • Profile picture of the author myob
        It certainly does put a spin on sit and spin. :p
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      • Profile picture of the author myob
        Originally Posted by Rod Cortez View Post


        Originally Posted by DireStraits View Post

        Ooohh, and a sexy inflatable doll to share it with. What more can a guy ask for? :p

        If you took her for a spin, would it be more accurate than the original?
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  • Profile picture of the author Fazal Mayar
    I prefer article marketing for a traffic generation method rather then for backlinks!
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    Blogger at RicherOrNot.com (Make Money online blog but also promoting ethical internet marketing)

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